The 2018 United Way Community Campaign raised over $46 million exceeding their goal of $41 million.
United Way San Antonio partners celebrate raising more than $46 million at the Pearl Stable Wednesday. Credit: Shari Biediger / San Antonio Report

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County announced Wednesday the 2018 United Way Community Campaign raised more than $46 million, exceeding the campaign goal by almost $5 million.

The announcement was made at Pearl Stable with more than 300 people from the corporate and nonprofit sectors attending.

“Working together, we are able to harness the collective capacity of personal giving … to make a huge impact in our community,” said Kim Lubel, 2018 United Way Campaign chair, and former chairwoman, president, and CEO of CST Brands. “Year over year over year, the depth of support from our community and the spirit of giving just blows me away.”

United Way-funded programs provide safety net services and emergency care, including food, housing, job training, after-school care, as well as help with domestic violence, financial literacy, child care, and more.

Last  year, United Way of San Antonio exceeded its 2017 Community Campaign goal by $1.2 million, raising more than $48.7 million.

“United Way is a big part of how we give back to our community,” said USAA CEO Stuart Parker, who will chair the 2019 United Way Campaign.

“As you may have heard, 2018 will be the first year USAA is giving 1 percent of our pre-tax income, which will be approximately $40 million, and a big part of that contribution is going to the United Way,” Parker added. “The reason we’re such a big supporter of United Way is because it’s just such a great venue for our employees and our company to contribute and know that money is going to be well spent.”

USAA giving to United Way in San Antonio this year totaled $8.1 million.

Renee Garvens, chief development officer for the Boys & Girls Club San Antonio, attended the event Wednesday before the nonprofit’s planned day of wrapping holiday gifts donated for 1,300 local children in need.

She said the announcement that United Way had exceeded its goal was great news. “We’ve all had our United Way funding lessened over the years as the United Way’s funding has lessened,” she said. “Companies have restructured their giving for employees, so the United Way pile has gone down. To see they surpassed their goal by $5 million is phenomenal.”

Garvens said nonprofits in general are working harder than ever to fundraise and make up the difference, but United Way remains the backbone of funding.

“It’s scarce for funding for nonprofits right now,” she said. “But I think people care about their communities and they want to help. And most people have a charity that they have built a relationship with and they trust their dollars going to something they value personally, so I think we’ll be fine.

“I think San Antonio is incredibly generous, and this just shows it.”

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.